Thursday, January 14, 2010

The States - part 4

Kel at Father's Office 2 in LA
My first round of tasters at Elysian Capitol Hill, Seattle.
Dick Cantwell, head brewer and owner of Elysian in Seattle.
A typical Seattle supermarket beer aisle!!

After NY came LA where we checked out Fathers Office 2 (the original, Fathers Office, was where I was first introduced to craft beer) which was fantastic. It's quite slick in its decor but done very well. The staff were excellent and the tap beer selection and food very good.

There are plenty of dive beer bars in the States (which I personally like) but more places like FO2 will help sell craft beer to a broader audience. While in LA, I also re-visited Library Ale House and The Daily Pint.

We flew into Seattle on Monday and after settling in to a lovely B&B, headed off to locate the local Pike Brewpub and The Stumbling Monk.

That night we visited Uber Tavern which (along with Brouwers) seems to be the best for beer in town. It's very small and friendly. Ken behind the bar looked after us brilliantly and we had a great conversation about the local scene..

It seems that for many (not all) beer lovers in the States, it's pretty much all about the big, extreme or seasonal beers. One customer at Uber told me that bar loyalty is less important than where the beer he wants is. Given this demand, there is apparently fierce competition between venues to secure a beer either first or exclusively.

For mine, I think it's fun trying these new big, extreme or seasonal beers but there's also a time for more traditional styles done well (which my brewer pals say is just as hard, if not harder, to brew).

On many of these venues' menus, beers under 6% ABV may make up less than 10% of the tap list, hardly encouraging people to hang around for a session..

Anyway, later checked out Brouwers Café, Beveridge Place Pub, Collins Pub and Elysian Capitol Hill (where I met the renowned brewer/owner Dick Cantwell). The Stumbling Monk will have to wait until I get back there on Friday.

We've now just arrived in Portland (3 hours drive south) and am stealing myself for another night of bar hopping. On the menu? Horse Brass Pub, Belmont Station, Deschutes, Widmer, Bailey's Taproom, Laurelwood Public House, Henry's 12th Street Tavern, Concordia Ale House and, of course, Rogues..

Wish me luck..

Here's a list of a few more beers I've downed (samples of mostly):

  • Chuckanut Pilsner (blah)
  • Double Mountain Hop Lava
  • Elsyian Zephyrus Pils
  • Elsyian Perseus Porter
  • Elsyian The Wise ESB
  • Elsyian Bye Bye Frost
  • Elsyian Immortal IPA
  • Elsyian AK-47 Malt Liquor
  • Elsyian Valhalla Christmas Ale
  • Elsyian Toro Oro Mate Tripel
  • Elsyian Prometheus IPA
  • Elsyian Bete Noel Belgian-style ale
  • Laguinitas Brown Shugga
  • Lost Abbey Angel's Share
  • Southern Tier Oat stout
  • Alesmith Anvil ESB
  • Russian River Pliny the Elder Double IPA

  • I've added a bunch of new photos to the photo album below..


    1. Hey Steve,

      I see you tried the Russian River Pliny Elder. I've been curious about this brewery as they have 2 beers in the top 10 on Beeradvocate with the Pliny Younger coming in at number 2.

      Any thoughts?



    2. You're hitting all the right places in Seattle and Portland! Too bad you didn't make it east of Seattle to Black Raven Brewing, but I hear their Trickster IPA was the 2010 IPA winner at Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle ... the dog friendly pub!!

      Meanwhile, on Dec 29 & 30, I visited The Local St Kilda Taphouse and enjoyed the Bridge Roads Galaxy, Feral Hop Hog, and especially Feral Razorback, which reminded me of Hair Of The Dog Fred from Portland.

    3. Hey Snowdog, I went for a nightcap at Beveridge last night.. and there were about 3 dogs in the venue and a few outside! The place kinda reminded me of early days of the original St Kilda Local (the predecessor to The Local Taphouse)..

      Small world. I was at Horse Brass in Portland this evening and got talking to a local next to me. He said he only drank Fred so I had a glass. It was delicious and the high ABV wasn't evident..

      Tonight I also went to Belmont Station and a funcky little place called Saraveza.. Tomorrow, I head out to the Gorge for the day and then back to Portland for a few places tomorrow night. I'll need a break from beer when I get home!